Halon Association – Organizational Background
The growing socio-economic gap, taking place in the past decade within Israeli society, has adversely impacted the accessibility to the educational system. In spite of the Israeli Law for Obligatory Free Education, we are witness to the fact that children and youths of low socio-economic background families, cannot afford tutoring or extra-curricular activities and do not enjoy the proper support, which would enable them to successfully complete their education.
In order to provide these pupils with proper aid, the Halon Association was founded in 1999 by Mr. David Sporer, a business man awarded for his contribution to Jerusalem and Chairman of the Association, and Late Mr. Tedi Kollek, former Mayor of Jerusalem and former president of the Association. The Halon Association acts to promote the equality of opportunities in education, under the belief that present investment in education will reinforce the entire society in the future.
Until now, the Halon Association has helped some 6,000 pupils of different sectors and the data gathered by the Ministry of Education shows a 95% success for projects run by the Association.
The Goals of the Association
- Reducing the number of dropouts from Junior High-Schools.
- Locating and helping Elementary School pupils who are at risk to dropout from School in the future.
- Supporting pupils in achieving full and quality High-School Diplomas.
- Providing underprivileged pupils with academic, emotional and financial support.
- Providing pupils, where possible, with attention and support regarding their personal problems.
The Association operates in three main areas: The educational area, the emotional area and the financial area. Within the first area the Association provides tutoring for small groups and for individuals, according to the pupils' needs. Within the second area pupils receive emotional support through a variety of programs such as coaching, martial arts etc, and even emotional care. Within the third area, the Association provides financial aid in the form of bus tickets, meals, school trips, books, computers and more, in order to improve the pupils' quality of life. Teachers in our programs are professional and experienced. They are contracted directly by the Association and most of them are currently working within the school setting.
The Association runs three major projects: "The Dropouts Prevention Program "(Junior High-Schools), "The High-School Graduates Rate Improvement Program" (High-Schools) and "the Transition to Junior High-School Program" (for children in elementary schools).
Other supporting frameworks usually focus only on one aspect of difficulty in the lives of the relevant population: Some provide financial or material support, but do not provide answers to their learning difficulties; others provide immediate help in order to close a learning gap, but fail to integrate the pupil into regular classes; learning centers that work after school hours are not always connected to what goes on during school hours.
The Halon Association is unique in its holistic approach towards the pupil. We focus on the child's pedagogic functioning, yet, at the same time we aspire to provide a suitable response to other aspects in his life. Our assumption is that a difficulty in school could be caused by many factors, and our job is to identify the source of the problem and try to provide suitable answers where possible. It should be noted that the Halon Association works in cooperation with other assistance frameworks, in order to provide a comprehensive solution for the pupil's needs.
The Halon Association began with 25 pupils in one school in Jerusalem. In the 2008/2009 school year the Association will aid more than 2,000 pupils in different sectors, within 29 schools all over Israel.